PETALING JAYA, Oct 9 — The office of Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya has denied he or anyone from the ministry has endorsed or supported any individual or group found guilty of breaking the law.
“This administration would like to refer to postings on social media which claim the deputy minister supported an individual who has been sentenced by the court for practising illegal dental services.
“In relation to that, the deputy minister or any other member of this administration does not support or compromise with any person or group who has broken the laws of country,” the personal assistant to the deputy minister, Aziaan Ariffin, said in a statement.
The statement follows messages on social media alleging Hilmi had shown his support for Nur Farahanis Ezatty, 20, who was sentenced by the Melaka Sessions Court on September 29 for running a private dental clinic which was not registered under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998.
Nur Farahanis served six days of her six-month jail term for failing to pay a RM70,000 fine.
The fine was settled by the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) and the Malaysia Islamic Economic Activist Organisation (PPEM).
The organisations ran a public campaign to raise funds for Nur Farahanis to pay the fine.
In response to the campaign, the Malaysian Association of Orthodontists (MAO) said it sent the wrong message to the public.
Its president Dr Noraini Alwi said in a statement the public was mostly unaware of the differences between specialist orthodontists, dentists and laypersons providing dental specialist services, such as orthodontics.
She said it was also unacceptable dental procedures could be carried out by anyone with some amount of intelligence, as implied by PPIM.
“Those who put them on are irresponsible people who, under the pretext of ‘helping friends or other Malaysians get access to such treatment’ are nothing more than people seeking commercial gain.
“If care is not taken in the diagnosis, treatment, planning and case management of any orthodontic case, the patient may suffer dire consequences, such as damage to the teeth, gums and supporting bone, which may be irreversible.”
The MAO strongly advised the public not to be duped by such illegal practices.
“Seek a legitimate dental practitioner for your dental needs and a specialist orthodontist for your orthodontic needs.”
The public is advised to visit the MAO’s website at www.mao.org.my for information on orthodontics and a nationwide list of specialist orthodontist members.